Product Hunt Daily Digest

From gimmick to hero

The National Restaurant Association reported that 50% of full-service restaurants in the US are now using QR code menus.

Just five years ago, QR codes were more decoration than utility in consumer tech. Although plenty of QR code scanners exist, convincing users to download and keep a rarely used, single-function app proved difficult.

Then in 2017 Apple set the stage for greater adoption when it enabled the iPhone camera to read QR codes. Android did the same the following year. Suddenly QR codes fit right into apps and marketing materials as a reasonable means for accessing information quickly. Asia in particular has excelled at finding innovative use cases.

Now, QR codes have finally made it to the restaurant industry and started a revolution. Many restaurant owners are convinced QR code menus and ordering are here to stay since adopting them for social distancing. They've enabled owners to put their menus online, keep menus updated in real-time, manage orders quickly, and prevent the spread of germs and viruses.

Menu Cards and Orderli both launched today with app-free solutions for restauranteurs. App features for new QR code products make the transition from paper menus to QR codes an even bigger technological leap for the industry. Many, like Menu Cards support a quick and easy-to-launch experience. Orderli is a full service solution with its own tablet for keeping track of orders and POS integration.

We’ve also seen a free QR code menu creator, an open-source QR platform, and a product that lets you use one QR code to serve users content in their preferred language.

There are startups that got an early lead in this space with a product in place prior to the pandemic. Sales are up 544% for Singapore-based Waitrr. OneDine expects to double its customer base in the US and UK over just four months.

As long as demand skyrockets (Bit.ly reported a 750% increase in QR downloads over the last 18 months), there’s can be room for indie makers and VR-backed startups to meet the unique demands for eateries — mom & pops, modern restaurants, tourist destinations, and so on.

Put a QR code on it
ANALYTICS HAVE ENTERED THE SPACE

We love Twitter Spaces but hate how limited its analytics are.

Direcon launched its real-time Twitter Spaces analytics tool which lets you clock stats like average time listened, age distribution, and follower counts of your participants. You may recognize Direcon from its Clubhouse and Spotify Greenroom analytics products.

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